Who said golf was a rich man's game? We didn't. It was a filthy, lying cyber-bully. You know which one we're talking about, the one with perfectly quaffed hair, a button-less future shirt, and a smug grin taunting you—almost daring you—to challenge him to an enunciation contest (he has never lost). But don't be intimidated by the way his eyes twinkle under the Canadian moonlight or how he stands on water as if he were Moses, he's incredibly self-conscious of his inability to inflect.
At Tiger Kwon’s Martial Arts, aspiring fighters have the unique opportunity to learn a martial art directly from its founder. Grandmaster Kwon, a ninth-degree black belt with more than 68 years of experience, combined elements of tae kwon do, hapkido, and kickboxing to create his own system—Kwon Mu Do—which he teaches alongside a team of fellow instructors. Other classes offered at the studio include Zumba dance fitness and Turbo Kick cardio kickboxing.
Home of the Illinois Women's Open, Mistwood Golf Club's idyllic greens provide challenges and triumphs to golfers of all skill levels. Their dream team of talented instructors transform golfbabies into hotshot spheroid-swatters through dedicated instruction. The one-hour lesson (a $100 value) gives players the opportunity to solicit tips from professional tip-givers, who will spill the beans on links secrets such as ideal putting stances and automatic hole-in-one passwords. After stocking up on wisdom, students can hone their chops on an unlimited supply of range balls (a $20 value). In addition to the private lesson and golf balls, swingers can pair up with an instructor for a nine-hole playing lesson (a $180 value, green fees and cart rental included), where they'll together navigate the myriad bunkers and water hazards that pepper the course, before settling down to discuss the volatile price of Bitcoins at lunch (a $15 value).
As soon as you walk in, you can tell Bear Paddle Swim School was designed to welcome children. The walls are painted with cartoon bears dressed in flippers and swim trunks, and the club interior's splashes of neon blue and green evoke a technicolor ocean. Then, of course, there's the indoor, saltwater pool, perhaps the most welcoming fixture of all. A pleasant 90 degrees year-round, it ensconces children in warmth as they improve their swim skills in the school's small classes. Available at eight levels, lessons accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities, covering skills from paddling and floating through competitive breaststroke and gold medal-wearing.
Most importantly, each lesson is taught by a trained teacher who is CPR-certified and 18 years of age or older. Teachers employ story based lessons and use small class sizes to help keep youngsters engaged. And while children are encouraged to learn at their own individual pace, skill patch rewards are given to honor swimming achievements, so that children stay motivated to learn.
Unlike an outdoor field, The Perfect Swing's more than 60,000 sq. ft. facility isn't ever affected by bad weather or movie crews shooting yet another inspiring comeback story. The sound of cracking bats and thudding balls fills the training space rain or shine year-round. Baseball and softball players face off against seven automatic pitching machines, which hurl balls at speeds between 35–70 miles per hour, while pitchers work their arms in 17 practice tunnels.
The Perfect Swing also offers four indoor turf fields for year-round baseball, softball, and soccer. Shoppers who are looking to stock up on softball and baseball equipment can visit the on-site store.
Athletes aren't left to swing and throw blindly, though. The Perfect Swing boasts a staff of more than 25 baseball and softball instructors, including many current and former professional players. During private and group instruction, these experts help students hone fundamental skills in areas such as hitting, pitching, catching, fielding, and agility. Instructors also lead outdoor baseball camps during the summer months.
Designed in a country-club style by PGA professional Gordon Cunningham, Woodbine Golf Course welcomes linkspeople with 6,020 yards of challenging tracts populated with bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens. The layout’s five ponds, natural-grass preservation areas, and clusters of grabby-branched trees have beckoned both low- and high-handicap golfers for nearly a quarter of a century. A contorted fairway and aquatic hazard make the 14th hole the course’s hardest, and the 4th hole ranks second hardest with a tricky dogleg left whose elbow hosts a sand bunker that lures distractible golfers with a siren song of sandcastles.
After games, golfers can retreat to Woodbine's clubhouse. At the Timber Restaurant and Bar, flat-screen TVs flicker above a long wooden bar, diners feast on pasta and pot roast, and a stone fireplace provides the ideal backdrop for tales about 9-irons that transformed into 10-irons with hard work and a little gumption.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 70 course
Length of 6,020 yards
Two tee options
See the scorecard